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3 Interesting Celebrity Museums

July 23, 2015

You’ve been to Graceland and you’ve visited the Roy Rogers Museum, but you’re still hungry for a celebrity fix? Here are some other destinations for your next road trip.

The Ernest Hemingway Museum

Ernest Hemingway MuseumHouse Location: Key West, Florida

Features: Hemingway, his wife Pauline, and their two sons lived in this two-story Spanish Colonial-style home from 1931 to 1939. It was given to the Hemingways as a wedding gift from Pauline’s Uncle Gus. (He paid $8,000 for it.) The Nobel Prizewinning author owned and regularly visited the house until his death in 1961. You can see much of the home’s original furniture, including the studio, desk, and typewriter “Papa” used to produce some of his most famous works, including Death in the Afternoon (1932) and To Have and Have Not (1937). Also on display are several Hemingway family photographs, stuffed and mounted heads and skins of animals killed by Hemingway on African safaris, as well as artworks, antiques, and curios the couple bought on their many trips around the world. Admission: $13.

Be Sure to See: The odd-looking fountain in the home’s backyard. It’s made from a urinal taken from Hemingway’s favorite Key West haunt, Sloppy Joe’s Bar.

Bonus: There’s also a huge in-ground pool (65 feet long), which Pauline had installed in 1937 while Hemingway was in Spain covering the Spanish Civil War. It was the first residential pool in Key West and cost about $20,000 to install (about $320,000 in today’s money). Upon returning home, Hemingway was reportedly so enraged at the expense that he threw a penny at Pauline’s feet, telling her she may as well take it, as it was now the last one he had. Be sure to look for that penny. Pauline had it embedded in the concrete rim of the pool.

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum

Arnold Schwarzenegger MuseumLocation: Thal, Austria

Features: This is the house Schwarzenegger grew up in. He lived here from his birth in 1947 until he left for America in 1968.

The home was turned into a museum, with the star’s blessing, in 2011. In it you can see the small metal-frame bed Schwarzenegger slept on as a boy, the dumbbell sets he worked out with as a teen, trophies from his bodybuilding days, and memorabilia from his Hollywood career—including a sword he used in his first hit film, Conan the Barbarian (1982) and one of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycles he rode in Terminator 2 (1991). There are also several life-size replicas of Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder and his movie characters, including the cyborg in Terminator. And there’s an entire room dedicated to Schwarzenegger’s term as governor of California, complete with a replica of the desk he used in the governor’s mansion. Admission: € 6.50 (about $9).

Be Sure to See: The “pit toilet.” When Schwarzenegger lived there, the home had no running water (or electricity)—and the toilet in the family bathroom consisted of a hole in the ground with a simple wooden bench above it.

The Three Stooges Museum

The Three Stooges MuseumLocation: Ambler, Pennsylvania

Features: The “Stoogeum,” as it is known, was founded in 2004 by Gary Lassin, who is married to the grandniece of Larry Fine—the “Larry” of Curly, Larry, and Moe. (Fine grew up in nearby Philadelphia.) This is not someone’s home converted into a makeshift museum. It is a full-on, professionally set-up, 10,000-square-foot, three-story museum, with an enormous collection— about 100,000 pieces of Stooges memorabilia dating all the way back to 1918. The collection includes Stooges movie posters, costumes and props from Stooges films, a research library with thousands of photographs and news clippings, interactive displays, vintage Stooges toys, and a film vault where hundreds of 16-millimeter Stooges films are preserved. The Stoogeum is open on Thursdays. Admission: $10.

Be Sure to See: The 85-seat movie theater for special film screenings and lectures. They give lectures about the Three Stooges? Soitenly.

Bonus: The Stoogeum is also the headquarters of the international Three Stooges Fan Club, which was founded in 1974 with the official endorsement of Larry Fine and Moe Howard, and is the location of the club’s annual meetings. Highlight of the meetings: Stooges impersonators, you lame brain! (Nyuk nyuk nyuk…)

Uncle John's Canoramic Bathroom Reader

This article was originally published in Uncle John’s Canoramic Bathroom Reader.

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